Monday, February 20, 2012

Runner Seeks Experienced Hernia Repair Surgeon

Really. I've lived with the sports hernia (Abdominal wall strain) since last August, and I hate not being able to really run. I can do marathons because I walk a lot and only jog when I do run, but I can't run faster, nor can I run continuously at any speed.

I'm trying therapy right now, and doing it very religiously, the full regimen every day, no exceptions. I want the therapy to work, because surgery carries some risk. This therapy doesn't have a reputation for success, though, and we three have an 11-week marathon-free interval coming up soon, so it can't hurt to find out about the surgery option too, and maybe even schedule it, on the likelihood that it will be necessary. Surgery has a reputation as the final fix for a sports hernia, basically the same surgery that is done for a real hernia.

If you know of an experienced surgeon with a good record in hernia repair, or if you had a successful hernia repair, I'd love to know.

Therapy Regimen. Four exercises and one stretch:

  • "Clamshell." Laying on one side with knees out and bent at about 90 degrees, raise the top knee, hold it a few seconds, and lower again, using a resistance band to work the muscles harder. Repeat 20 times.
  • "Bridging" Lying on back with feet near butt, push butt up, keeping stomach and butt muscles tight. Hold 10 seconds, repeat 20 times.
  • "Hip Abduction." Lying on side with legs straight, raise the top foot 8-10 inches, hold a few seconds, repeat 20 times.
  • "Rear Extension." On hands and knees, tighten the stomach and raise one leg, straightening it out behind. Hold for a few seconds, repeat 20 times.
  • "Hernia Stretch." Standing with one knee on a chair, move forward to pull that knee back. this stretches the quads, but more importantly it stretches the hip flexors and that side of the abdomen. This hurts me a little, but only on the right side.
I have been doing two sets of these exercises every day, along with additional upper-body exercises and some runner's stretches most days. I have five more therapy appointments, and hope this therapy works.

In the event that it doesn't work, however, I'd like to know the name of a really good hernia-repair surgeon.


SteveQ said...

A lot of top runners seem to be getting sports hernias. The most recent I recall was Kurt Decker at Twin Cities Running Co.; I'm sure he'd say who did his surgery, but I think the surgery is easier than the diagnosis.

Don said...

Thanks, Steve,

I'm waiting on a response from Kurt. I do have a couple of choices already, including one woman who did a very professional minor surgery on me a few years ago. She does hernias too, but I'd like someone who does lots of them.

I'd LOVE it if the surgery was easier than the diagnosis!